Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Looking for the most personalized hyperbaric oxygen therapy San Diego has to offer? Welcome to Aspire Regenerative!
While hyperbaric oxygen chambers have been present in the medical community for hundreds of years, they have recently gained popularity among celebrities, professional athletes, and everyday people seeking to improve their overall wellness. Whether you’re seeking a low-risk treatment for a serious condition or a non-invasive way to restore your body to peak condition, hyperbaric oxygen therapy may well be the solution you’ve been looking for.
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and How Does It Help the Body Heal?
Oxygen is required for the human body’s tissues to survive and thrive. When tissue is damaged, it requires more oxygen to repair the injury. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT for short, is an FDA-approved treatment that can aid in this process. Studies have shown it can increase the body’s blood oxygen levels, which promotes overall healing and helps the body fight infection.
While patients are inside the hyperbaric oxygen chamber, they breathe concentrated oxygen (by comparison, the air we normally breathe is only about 20% oxygen) that is pressurized to 3x the level outside. The combination of concentrated oxygen and pressurization helps diffuse a higher level of oxygen into the body’s blood plasma, allowing oxygen to reach up to 3x further into damaged tissue than is possible through breathing normal air or with the assistance of an oxygen mask.
What are the Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
The body runs on oxygen, so it’s no surprise that HBOT delivers a wide range of health-boosting benefits. Oxygen is vital for everything from cellular respiration, which helps transform nutrients into energy, to tissue repair and healthy brain function, and HBOT provides these processes with the fuel they need to work faster and more efficiently.
By allowing oxygen to penetrate 3x deeper into damaged tissues, HBOT is a proven technique for enhancing the body’s natural healing abilities and has been used to treat a number of illnesses, ailments and health conditions since the early 20th century. Beyond its earlier applications, HBOT has evolved to become the go-to treatment for things like carbon monoxide poisoning, decompression sickness and slow-healing wounds, but the list continues to grow as scientists gain a deeper understanding of this therapy.
Today, some of the known benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy include:
- Enhances natural healing processes
- Increased circulation and oxygenation
- Boosts stem cell growth
- Helps to fight infections
- Improves the effectiveness of other treatments/procedures
- Enhanced physical performance
- Better sleep and mental clarity
- Reduced inflammation
- Encourages the production of new skin and collagen
- Skin rejuvenation / anti-aging effects
- Suitable for numerous conditions
- Few risks or side effects
- No recovery time after treatments
Who Can Benefit from Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Because this treatment helps much-needed oxygen get to damaged cells and tissues, the list of hyperbaric oxygen therapy benefits is quite long. As research continues, we are still learning new ways this therapy can help patients with an array of serious conditions. So far, we know that HBOT can assist with bone and neurovascular regeneration, increase the growth of stem cells or progenitor cells within the body, and has been noted for its anti-aging and overall wellness benefits.
Also, many healthy individuals seek hyperbaric oxygen therapy for skin rejuvenation, mental and physical performance enhancement, heightened energy, improved sleep, reduced inflammation, and more. This therapy is safe for children and adults but not currently recommended in the U.S. for women who are pregnant. Patients who’ve had recent ear surgery may also not be suitable candidates for HBOT, as well as those with middle ear injuries, sinus problems or certain types of lung disease. During the consultation process, these and other concerns will be discussed in detail, along with your medical history, to determine if this procedure is right for you.
What Conditions Can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treat?
There are numerous publications, such as The New England Journal of Medicine, that detail the many benefits of HBOT. In the United States, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is an FDA-approved treatment for the following conditions:
- Decompression Sickness (The Bends)
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Cyanide Poisoning
- Clostridial Myonecrosis and Myositis (Gas Gangrene)
- Thermal Burns
- Compromised Skin Flaps and Grafts
- Intracranial Abscesses
- Compartment Syndrome, Crush Injury, and Other Acute Traumatic Ischemias
- Severe Anemia
- Gas Embolism
- Necrotizing Fasciitis
- Bone Necrosis and Soft Tissue Damage Caused by Radiation
- Some Non-Healing Wounds
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is also often prescribed by doctors to aid in the “off-label” treatment of more than 100 other conditions, including but not limited to:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Lyme Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
In addition, research has shown that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can positively impact or help alleviate symptoms of the following conditions and ailments:
HBOT has been found to alleviate symptoms, including joint inflammation and hyperalgesia (increased pain sensitivity) associated with arthritis.
One study found significant improvement in children diagnosed with autism who were treated with HBOT. Researchers found improvements in eye contact, receptive language, social interaction, and overall function when compared to the control group.
While research into the effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy on cancer is ongoing, studies have found that HBOT can “reduce cancer growth in some cancer types, like breast cancer.”
HBOT has been found to alleviate feelings of weakness, numbness, and pain in the extremities, which are common symptoms found in patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy improves circulation to the extremities and can even help regenerate damaged nerve cells.
Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Preliminary research has found that HBOT can improve the overall quality of life for servicemen and women suffering from blast-induced TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Athletes
HBOT has become increasingly popular among athletes and patients recovering from sports-related injuries. Some of the world’s top athletes, including LeBron James and Michael Phelps, have incorporated this therapy into their regular training regimens to help reduce fatigue and speed up muscle recovery after intense training sessions. Research has found that HBOT can help promote tissue remodeling after injuries involving muscles, bones, and ligaments, as well as reduce inflammation and improve circulation.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy boasts an array of benefits that are particularly advantageous for athletes, including:
- Boosting the immune system
- Reducing inflammation and swelling
- Reducing ligament and tissue healing time
- Reducing fatigue and jet lag
- Stimulating the production of stem cells within the body
- Helping to remove toxins from the body
- Promoting tissue regeneration and healing
- Treating concussions
Can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy be Combined With Other Treatments?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is ideal for patients whether they have a specific concern to address or simply want to boost their health and wellness. With FDA approval for numerous conditions and over 100 off-label uses, HBOT provides a multitude of benefits when used on its own, but it's often combined with other treatments for improved efficacy. Increasing the body’s oxygen supply with HBOT has been proven effective when used alongside cancer or radiation treatments, skin grafts, physical therapy, antibiotics, post-surgical healing and other conventional remedies. At Aspire Regenerative, HBOT can also be added to PRP and stem cell treatments, IV therapy, acupuncture, neurological treatments and lifestyle changes for a powerful combination that delivers therapeutic advantages. During the consultation process, our experienced providers will review each patient’s needs, goals and medical history to recommend an approach that will produce the best outcome, utilizing the most effective treatment (or combination of treatments) available.
What Should I Expect During HBOT Treatment?
Treatments typically last between 60-90 minutes. This timeframe is determined based on a personalized consultation with one of our clinicians. Depending on the condition being treated, patients may require anywhere between one and 60 treatments, generally administered five days per week, Monday through Friday. During each session, patients lie down on a table inside of the enclosed hyperbaric tube with windows. Patients are clothed in provided medical clothing and any topical wounds remain dressed, as it is not the air that touches the wound that promotes healing, but rather the air that is breathed into the body.
At Aspire Regenerative, patients who undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy are treated in state-of-the-art hyperbaric chambers with a 42” diametric interior. Patients may lie down on the interior contoured mattress and also have enough headroom to sit up. There are mirrored controls on the interior and exterior of our HBOT chambers, giving both patients and doctors the ability to adjust settings as needed. During treatment, patients may take a nap, meditate, or read a book, but due to increased pressure and oxygen levels within the chamber, electronic devices are not allowed inside, as they can present a potential fire hazard. The oxygen itself is not flammable, but can lower the temperature at which flammable objects may ignite if they are inside the chamber.
Patients may experience pressure in their ears, similar to the feeling during an airplane flight. Some patients may also experience a feeling of lightheadedness or fatigue after treatment that typically lasts only a short time. In rare cases, patients can experience side effects after treatment, including temporary nearsightedness, pressure-related injury to the nasal cavity or ears, low blood sugar, collapsed lung, decompression sickness, or seizures. Be sure to give your clinician a full description of your medical history before receiving HBOT.
How Long Will It Take to See Results?
Each patient is unique, and results depend on many factors. Some patients report seeing the most notable hyperbaric oxygen therapy wound healing results up to 4 weeks after completion of all treatment sessions, and others see results after just one treatment.
The total number of HBOT treatment sessions required and the overall longevity of effects depend upon the condition being treated and the severity of symptoms. It is known that the oxygen levels return to baseline four hours after each session. However, downstream effects on a molecular level from HBOT can continue for much longer.
Schedule an Appointment
Book your consultation at our state-of-the-art Aspire Regenerative facility and find out how HBOT can benefit you! Our highly respected clinicians will provide you with both guidance and a range of options to create a treatment plan that’s right for you.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy FAQ
Have questions regarding hyperbaric oxygen therapy? Below you will find the answers to some of our patients’ most frequently asked questions associated with the HBOT treatment process, its effects and the risk of side effects.
How Long Do the Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Last?
Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Covered by Insurance?
Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Raise Blood Pressure?
Can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Help Arthritis?
Doctors may prescribe HBOT as an “off-label” treatment to help alleviate symptoms including joint inflammation and hyperalgesia (increased pain sensitivity) associated with arthritis.
Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Work for Asthma?
Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Make You Tired?
Some patients do report feeling mildly fatigued after HBOT, but this should pass quickly and should not hinder you from being able to resume your normal activities afterwards. It should also be noted that some patients choose to take a nap during hyperbaric oxygen therapy and report feeling rested after treatment sessions.
What Is the Most Common Complication of HBOT?
Side effects associated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy include mild fatigue and ear discomfort (similar to the sensation of taking off or landing in an airplane). More severe complications are rare but can include oxygen poisoning, lung or sinus damage, fluid buildup in the middle ear or changes in vision. In order to avoid complications and side effects, you should not receive HBOT if you have recently had ear surgery, suffered an ear injury, have a collapsed lung, have a severe cold or fever, suffer from certain types of lung disease or have extreme claustrophobia.